Sawers’s Literary Map of the United States of America includes more than 200 novelists, poets and cartoonists, and the selection process, as in all literary contests, had an element of the arbitrary. First, Sawers and his co-artist, Bridget Hannigan, drew up a list of names they felt had to be on there, a combination of prizewinners and personal crushes. Thus F. Scott Fitzgerald was an early inclusion, but so was Charles M. Schulz, creator of Snoopy. Then there was the placement issue: where a writer appeared was only sometimes determined by birthplace. So while Tom Wolfe stretches up towards his hometown of Richmond, Virginia, Herman Melville appears whaling away north of Nantucket with "Moby Dick."
"People from all over the world are buying the maps,” Sawers says, “and they can get quite angry when their favourite writers don’t appear where they expect them to.”